human, being


Stubborn girl
February 13, 2009, 11:06 am
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting | Tags: , , , , ,

Lauren and I get along pretty well for two headstrong females. Sure, she’s not yet 8, but she has her own opinions about many things, especially what she calls “fashion.”

I don’t care if she walks out of the door looking like a clown. If she chooses to wear purple and teal plaid capris with a striped orange T-shirt to school, more power to her. But I do care if she wants to go to school wearing shorts, a short-sleeved T and flip flops on a day where the high temperature will be in the 30s and there is snow on the ground. She’d learn her lesson by freezing, but I’d look like an idiot of a mother.

She insists that her clothes are too small and that’s why she won’t wear the majority of them. These are the exact same clothes that, when we tried them on in the dressing room of Old Navy last week, fit her just fine. She was excited to get them, then when we got home she insisted that they are too tight. She’s always had this issue with things being tight around her tummy, even as a baby. As a result, she likes to wear all of her pants low on her hips, gangster style. I gave up the battle with her showing butt cleavage a long time ago. Eventually she’ll get teased and will pull up her pants.

This morning, she and I screamed at each other and stood in her room, glaring at each other with arms crossed. I told her to put on jeans. She said no. I told her to put on the god damn jeans. She said no and sat down on her bed. I told her to put on her god damn f-ing jeans right now or there would be dire consequences. She said, “Stop bossing me around! You don’t get to control me!”

Oh really?

The thing is, she is just as stubborn as me. I cannot for the life of me come up with a consequence that will be enough punishment to make her mind me. For example, she hates to wear socks for some reason. That means her feet reek to high heaven half the time, and her father and I have to buy her new shoes every other month because the old ones poison the entire house. I have tried bargaining. I have tried consequences. I told her this week that every time I find her with shoes and no socks I’m going to tax her $1. “OK Momma, I’ll give you a dollar when we get home for school,” she said, bubbling. I told her that maybe the tax would be $1 the first time, $5 the next time and $10 the time after that. “Well, I only have $11, so that’s fine,” she said. Really, what does a 7 year old need with money anyway? I told her her consequence would be doing hard chores, like cleaning out the cat box. “Good thing I know how to do that,” she told me.

Is she smarter than me? Maybe. The last time we clashed over wearing shorts and flip flops, she acquiesced for the car ride to school, then changed her clothes into the shorts and flip flops when she got inside. Sneaky! She may have done the same thing today, because she left wearing some gray sweats. I’ll be at her school in a few hours to host her Valentine’s Day party, so we’ll see.

On occasion, I’ve lost my temper and spanked her, and SHE LAUGHS AT ME. I spank her and my hand stings, so I know it hurts her, but it does no good so I no longer bother with any kind of corporeal punishment (she’s been spanked maybe 5 times in her life). Once recently, I grounded her for half a day for stealing something out of my purse and lying to me. She had to sit on her bed with nothing to do for about five hours. It didn’t faze her.

I know I was also willful as a child. My mom responded by withdrawing from me if I didn’t do what she wanted. I’m not going to do that to Lauren. I feel irresponsible if I don’t insist she does things that are common sense, but I’m starting to see that my trying to force things on her — first by asking nicely, then not so nicely, then demanding, then threatening — is not working. Do I need to give up any idea of controlling her? What’s going to happen when she’s 16 and we’re not battling over clothing but over whether she can hang out with a 22 year old drug dealer as a boyfriend?

So I’m at a loss, and really not looking forward to her adolescence. She’s basically a good kid, but my oh my she is a stubborn girl. Unfortunately, so am I. And therein lies the problem.

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1 Comment so far
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Lynn,
I think we have the exact same child from a mold. Sarah is Lauren and Lauren is Sarah. Thank God I’m not the only mom out there trying to raise a daughter like her mom. LOL!! Wait til Lauren is 11…

Comment by stephan ie




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